If there is one thing over my span of work-life so far that is consistent across the different organisations, and industries I have worked in is customer service. The main theme of my work experience is servicing clients. Sounds simple enough but for a socially awkward introvert like myself, it doesn’t come easy. In general, my high introversion tends to be problematic in the work place in general but I somehow have managed to keep going.
Here are a few tricks I realised I do, that may help any fellow introverts out there survive the work day in a people/interaction oriented role.
Don’t get sucked into the drama or gossip. And plenty of time I have noticed, men love creating drama more then women. Though in this misogynistic world you are often led to believe the contrary. Strange creatures, men, their egos so incredibly massive yet so fragile at the same time. Back to my point, it’s always good to know what’s going on in the office in terms of goss, but you need to act like you don’t care when you get wind of things. Even if you do. Somehow that makes people want to tell you more stuff. It’s contradictory but that’s what happens. Your lack of interest in partaking in the drama and office gossip, makes you like a neutral zone for people to come talk to. Warning, it can get a little annoying but it helps you keep your ear to the ground.
Don’t engage with stupid. You truly won’t come out of that with anything good to show for it. Sometimes it comes in the form of a very senior boss. Sit and wonder how this person managed to dress himself this morning if you have to but don’t get too caught up in the idiocy in the moment. And don’t take it personally, just work out what needs to get done next and move on.
Get straight to the point. Short and simple. I tend to over think things and even a simple email has my brain on overdrive sometimes. I have learnt at times like these, just simplify. As long you as you can get your point across clearly, however simple the language you use, you’ll be fine.
Passive aggression. Being passive aggressive is normally a bad thing, but in a world of overtly assertive extroverts, it needs to be used, sparingly, to get things done. I just use little phrases like, “I am sure you can understand my position….” or “I would really appreciate your assistance with…” mostly when I am trying to convince people to do things (often times, my way). Can’t be helped, I don’t have that persuasive power that comes naturally to a lot of people.
Let your work speak for itself. Honestly at the end of the day, doesn’t matter whether you get invited to after dinner drinks or are as popular as Greg, as long as you you get things done your boss will notice and that’s what matters.
Be yourself. Unless you’re an asshole (see above – huge yet fragile ego) or a Donald Trump supporter, then be someone else. This is the most cliche but the most important. From the get-go, i.e. the interview stage, just be who you are. Makes work life hell of a lot easier that way.
Reading is a stressful pastime. Well it’s not stressful when you are actually reading, it’s one of the best forms of escapism, for me anyway. It only becomes stressful when you tell people you like doing it, they start discussing Tolstoy or the latest Pulitzer winner and you’re like, “the latest Janet Evanovich book was hilarious”.
The problem with reading I had been having was not finishing books I started. The library has always been my source of books. And that was the problem. With work and life in the way I never had enough time to finish books before they were due. I know what you’re thinking, what life? She’s always complaining about the lack of a social life. Well watching brats pick out ugly outfits on Say Yes to the Dress on TLC takes time okay?
Anyway, I got a Kindle for my birthday, and I am back to reading and finishing stuff. yes I may have said I am against ebooks somewhere on this blog, but my position on this has drastically changed. It’s so pretty my little Kindle paperwhite. And light. It’s making me extra excited to go to Japan and have time to read on trains/buses, etc. Not on the flight though, cause my brain on planes (rhyme not intended), just cannot concentrate on anything longer than 20 mins.
I have a long Kindle wishlist as it is but does anyone have any recommendations?
I told myself that I have to blog. Its been a month and blogging is what typically makes me feel like me. But I am a bit out of it these days (evidenced by month long post drought).
So many things to post but just so little time, and mostly motivation to do it. There’s my Phuket trip where I learnt things I wish I could unlearn. The characters at work, I out played a guy today in front of HIS boss. Bitch chose the wrong day to mess with me. I don’t do mind games but if you really push me to play, make sure, really make sure, you know what you’re doing. There, The Block, my favourite reality TV show that is back in season. Okay that last one is not really post worthy but it’s like a highlight of my life these days. Sad, I know.
Last couple of days have been extra emo for me. But I am still thankful for them. One of my old friend’s (lives in a different country) popped up out of the woodwork again. He once told me that my blog (previous one, or maybe it was this one in early days, hmm…) was depressing, that he felt like killing himself after reading it. He’s a good emo buddy to discuss philosophical things like the point of life with. It does get depressing sometimes though.
Anyone who’s been reading this blog or has communicated with me recently knows the one thing I am really looking forward to, at this point is my trip to Phuket. And then what happens, some idiot(s) decide to set off bombs around Thailand, including 2 in Phuket. Why? Why is it hard not to kill/grievously maim fellow human beings? I just don’t get it.
Anyway now the 2 people I am going with are re-thinking the trip because of family pressuring them on safety. I basically told them (in a nice way), that I am going whether or not they are coming. Unless war breaks out in Phuket, nothing is coming in the way of me and my lounging by the beach/pool, cocktail in hand.
And here is where my gratitude comes in. My parents/family. While my 2 trip buddies are being guilt tripped into not going, my parents are happy to leave the decision to me. Here are the 2 conversations I had with both my parents at different times yesterday night (the one with mom translated from Tamil).
Mom: There were some attacks in Phuket. Which part of Thailand you going again?
Mom: Are you still going to go?
End of conversation – though I know she’ll be doing some extra praying
Dad: You bought travel insurance right? Can you cancel your trip?
Dad: Are you going to?
End of conversation
Reflecting on this, I felt really thankful that growing up my parents never let their fears for my sister and I stop us from doing what we want to do. After a certain point, they normally communicated their concerns to us but always let us make our own decisions/mistakes. But were always there when those mistakes blew up in our faces.
So thankful I don’t have parents that guilt-trip me as a 30 year old for my decisions.
Blogging used to be my escape, I loved and looked forward to it. My earlier posts were even kind of funny.
Lately though I have lost it. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been feeling well. Basically all these ideas will pop into my head but I never actually get them out. Feel a little lost in that sense.
I have been up quite a bit these days thinking about love. The romantic kind. Don’t know if it’s because I seem to be the love counsellor in the office or because my 30th birthday is around the corner and it’s got me all introspective. Either way it’s annoying, it messes with me head.
I am turning 30 soon and in terms of love have nothing to show for it. Bit of a scary thought. It’s like I didn’t even deserve a failed relationship in these years. Not even temporarily loved. I don’t really get why. There are people who aren’t the nicest people in the world that are happily married or have more than 1 relationship. Selfish idiots that one care about money or superficial things find love. I must be really horrible person.
Deep down I know that I don’t need a man or to be married to be happy/ fulfilled. I know this from observing various relationships and people around me. And I also know one day God and the universe will show me why my perpetual state of singledom makes sense. Doesn’t make the lonely emo nights any easier though.
It’s been a little crazy for me these last couple of weeks, work and healthwise. I suppose health has been more challenging. Nothing serious though (I think) just bloody hormones making it difficult for me to go about my day as per normal. They are also making me constantly tired for no proper reason. Need to schedule a thyroid test soon to rule that out (hopefully).
On the work front I seem to have become the relationship counsellor for the team. What a cruel twist by the world. Do you really think I want to be listening to your relationship problems like “he’s not normally my type at all but I gave him a chance. It’s not like I don’t have a lot of other offers”. Like how do you think you telling me about the hoard of men you have at your disposal makes my life better? Why do you think I care about your personal relationships? And I have 3 people now coming to me about their dating/love life. Why God, why?!
Not like I have been going around telling people how my hormones are reeking havoc on my body. Which would be more relevant actually because it may affect my work. Just because introverts are quiet doesn’t mean we like listening. Well we do, at least I do, but if it’s about the same thing 500 million times and it’s something I can’t really relate to, then it’s quite draining.
I think this one woman keeps telling me the same thing so that I will tell her what she wants to hear as opposed to what I think. Sorry dude, not going to happen. You made your bed, you lie in it, that’s my motto. I think I might elaborate on this in another post.
Today’s off to a not so great start. My oats stash at work is depleted. I didn’t realise. It’s weird starting my day with oats. At least I have coffee.
I also have a colleague going through a break-up (who I have mentioned before) who keeps sending me links about break-ups and relationships. Like stop, please stahp. I am didn’t break up with anyone. And I don’t need, spiritual (she’s a devout Christian) guidance or advice from elitedaily/thoughtcatalog. To top it all off, after I have spent hours listening to her go on and on about the same relationship issues she tells me that she needs people like Sharon and Carin (other colleagues) to help her through this difficult period. 2 people that have barely been in the office. Then why the hell has she been wasting my time with the sob story? 😕 I don’t understand people sometimes.
Plus she keeps saying her issues are because she was in a relationship with an introvert. I keep telling her, her ex (also a colleague) is firstly not an introvert, he seems to socialise fine with all the women in the office. And more importantly even if he was one, that’s not the issue, the fact that he’s a lying cheating idiot is.
Anyways, I bought a hat. I need to focus on that. My hat, Phuket, cocktails, pristine beaches. 7 more weeks to go.
Feeling extra lonely tonight, I think it’s because I put my pillows for washing and don’t have any cuddle buddies. Yes my pillows are my source of comfort, don’t judge me.
In other news, I bought a cheap hat for my Phuket trip. It’s just a basic straw floppy hat, but I’m so happy with it. Think I look nice in it. Hopefully my hormones will cooperate with me during the trip. They aren’t cooperating at
Am I losing my mind? Probably. Is it due to the medication I am on? Maybe.
Burger: The burger at dinner was sooooo good and I am very proud of my IG caption for the picture of it I posted :p
Cab ride home: I am so used to using Grab car (like uber but better) that I nearly jumped out at the end of it without paying.
Cute guy: There’s a hot guy in my office building that I have seen around a few times. Today I was all dressed up in my new floral dress feeling beautiful (which is pretty rare, and I was hoping I would bump into him. And I did! I smiled at him, he didn’t even smile back 😒. I wasn’t even worth a smile back. Sighs.